It’s Halloween in space. Written by Neil Gaiman. Penn & Teller are space-comedians. If you’ve never watched Babylon 5, are you not sold somehow?
Among the many cultures that live on space station Babylon 5, the Brakiri people have a holy day similar to our Earth’s ancestor worship celebrations—namely Dia de los Muertos—which is our episode’s set-dressing. As you’d expect, the resident staff among the station experience many emotional longings in part towards their character, relevant to the grief of deceased loved ones. With Spacemagic.
Seeing this cultural inheritance towards venerating our dearly departed unfold within a space drama is kinda fun.
If you’ve never watched the show before, the episode arrives in the last season. No awkward makeup but gorgeous musical score as always. The whole episode’s interpersonal arcs are all about callbacks between characters… calling reminiscence to lost people in our lives. Lost moments of decisions as well. For isn’t our lives about our interlocking decisions with each other?
Heavy idea, dude. In space. Including the Comedians isn’t a bad idea, or even a new one. Clowns are present at certain funerals.
Neil Gaiman wrote the episode (teleplay? Is that still a word?) and did a quickie published softbound book not long after. It is annotated with his great musings and is a joy to read, at least for the word “transubstantiation”.
I received a copy of the book, signed, through my long lost sweetheart. It’s in my Library (storage unit). It was signed “to Jonathan—ZOOT ZOOT!”
Watch this supernatural episode of spacepeople and missing the dead. You could consider how the holiday we have here before us is one of grieving too. Of missing our dead, of losing a past relationship, for each person is like their own world, quite like a universe. And each person has their own depth of mystery of what lies beyond our last breaths, losing our lives of work and labor… like a story. We can investigate each other like stories.
Have fun watching a sci-fi Halloween story somewhere on the internet! I don’t know, good luck with that. Amen!